Recruitment and Retention

Clan Behavior and it’s Influence on Fire Service Culture

I submit for your consideration that fire department leaders will not find the “fix” until they recognize that those new members (outsiders) are being exposed to the behaviors and expectations of the firehouse clan from Day #1 with a department. Who’s teaching them in those entry-level training programs? Who’s working with them at the firehouse when they come on board?

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Thoughts on Recruitment and Retention for the Volunteer Fire Service

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer The recruitment and retention of members is a critical issue for many volunteer fire departments across the U.S. and Canada. Fundamentally, the problem has “many moving parts” as outlined by Rick Markley in his Introduction to my recently published e-book, Essays on Recruitment and Retention for the Fire Service: Recruiting and retaining outstanding firefighters is ...

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Engaging Our People in the Fire Service

People--especially those who enter the fire service--generally want to be successful and feel like they are making a contribution to the organization. Lack of clarity from their organizational leaders, and especially their first-line supervisor, in the form of clear expectations can be a significant "roadblock" to their success.

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The Fire Camp for Girls Experience

The confidence that I gained to be able to work through any tough situation, not just firefighting situations. I’ll never forget the slogan that was on our camp T-shirts and all the equipment that we used, “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll understand. Involve me and I’ll remember.” Been more than four years now and I still remember that.

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Firefighter Recruitment for Today

I’m seeing more postings on social media platforms, e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, promoting social media infographicfirefighter employment opportunities in various locations around the USA and Canada. That’s a good thing, for sure, because if people don’t even know about the opportunities that are out there…but I don’t think that using social media to promote job announcements is any kind of “silver bullet” for fire service organizations looking to attract quality people to their “tribe.”

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Junior Firefighter Camp is About More than Skills

My first trip to summer camp since 1975 was West Virginia University Fire Service Extension’s 9th annual Junior Firefighter Camp held at the WV State Fire Academy outside of Weston, WV. This year’s camp attracted campers from 12 different states—including Colorado, Arkansas, and Maine—as well as one young man from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

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Want More Women for Your Fire Department?

So perhaps you need to focus those recruiting efforts at youth sporting events for girls, and young girls at that. Because by the time they reach college-age they’ve already got that “mental picture” of what kinds of careers are for women—and that picture probably doesn’t include them wearing turnout gear.

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Why did you want to become a Firefighter?

That question has been around for generations, no? As leaders in Fire and EMS organizations, do we truly know the answer for ourselves and others in our organizations? If we are to continue to recruit and training and retain the individuals necessary to adequately staff our organizations in the coming years, perhaps we would be better served to ponder the question.

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Transition for the Future of Fire and EMS

What I found in my transition is a career that requires tremendous physical fitness in both strength and cardio, being able to think on your feet, working well under extreme stress, the ability to always work as a member of a team, and a desire to provide one of Maslow’s basic needs for humanity – to aid my fellow citizens in feeling safe in their communities.

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Fire Camps for Girls & Young Women

Summer fire camps provide a great opportunity for girls and young women to discover what an exciting and rewarding experience being a firefighter can be. Camps also provide fire service organizations an equally great opportunity to begin "growing" the next generation of women firefighters.

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